Downing a shot of apple cider vinegar (ACV) each morning is considered the epitome of wellness right now—though, uh, it’s definitely not going to help you lose weight (sry, Megan Fox and Miranda Kerr).
Now, people are taking it a step further and chasing garcinia cambogia pills with apple cider vinegar in hopes of torching fat. Really, guys??
Wait, what the heck is garcinia cambogia?
The extract comes from a tropical fruit called tamarind grown in Indonesia. You can cook with a tamarind paste made out of the pods to flavor dips and sauces.
However, the extract is also packed into diet pills because one of its compounds, hydroxycitric acid (HCA) has been said to decrease appetite and prevent fat storage—TV doctor Mehmet Oz even claimed the extract was the “simple solution you’re looking for to bust your body fat for good,” in one of his 2012 shows.
While, yes, garcinia cambogia does have HCA, its effects on weight loss are anything but definitive–and may even be dangerous
So, why do people pair garcinia cambogia with apple cider vinegar?
It all started with a 2017 ad that portrayed itself as a CNN article (you can see the fake story here), which claimed that a Cornell University student lost 37 pounds by drinking a combo of ACV and garcinia cambogia.
The “article” was debunked as totally fake soon after, but bloggers are still touting the benefits of pairing the two together. One site even claims that, when paired, ACV can boost garcinia cambogia’s fat-zapping powers.
But here’s the thing: “Studies show that garcinia cambogia has little to no proven effect on body weight—but can cause side effects such as headache, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, and even liver damage and in rare circumstances liver failure,” says Amy Gorin, R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. Horrific.
In late 2017, the Food and Drug Administration also warned that at least one brand of garcinia cambogia pills contained a hidden ingredient called sibutramine, which has been known to increase blood pressure and heart rate and interact with other medications in life-threatening ways.
As a reminder, apple cider vinegar doesn’t do sh*t for weight loss, either.
Sure, apple cider vinegar is an ingredient you can safely use in recipes. But as a weight-loss aid, it’s…meh.
While research indicates that it may help control post-meal blood sugar spikes, and thus decrease cravings for sugary foods—specifically a 2017 study published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice—it didn’t look at weight loss specifically.
Plus, if you drink too much of the stuff, it could wear away your tooth enamel and irritate your gastrointestinal tract, says Gorin.
Overall, pairing ACV with garcinia cambogia is pointless at best—and harmful at worst. Go ahead and use the former on salad dressings if you’re so inclined, but keep the latter where it belongs: in the trash.
The bottom line: Combining garcinia cambogia and apple cider vinegar for weight loss is probably pointless, and may even be dangerous.
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